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Having recently gone pretty much self employed in an area that is actually in fact totally nothing whatsoever to do with my nursing background, I would just like to write a review on my own experiences so far to date in respect of this. I have recently begun helping individuals to claim back payment protection insurance, and although I have technically gone self employed in order to do so (or so it would seem as the company is still a fairly new one at only twelve months old), I am actually in fact working through a local business organisation in order to do so.
Having not really been self employed before myself, I wasn't really quite sure as to what to expect from my new found role - although I had some inclination thorugh my Dad, who for most of his previous working role spent time as an inspector for the DSS visiting businesses and other individuals who were claiming to either be self employed themselves or have people who were technically classed as self employed actually working for them.
As I have already pointed out, I work in effect for a company who specialise in helping people to get their PPI paid back to them - the customer gets an automated telephone message; they then call us back right away; we take their details if they are up for it, and we put them through then to the right people for some further advice. Any leads that get put through by us that are accepted we get paid for, and about 80% of all of the leads that get put through actually do get accepted. But of course some people just say that they have got it, just so that they can go through to the relevant body; get a pack sent out; do nothing with it, and their number will then automatically get taken off of our system (although the minute that they say that they wish to have a pack sent out is the minute that we get paid for it!).
However as with any person who knows how it is to be a self employed agent, you basically only get paid for the work that you do - and so therefore if I only get five leads put through in a day with a potential for up to only four getting accepted and at a payment rate within my own company of £3.50 per accepted lead, some days I could only get paid £14 for an eight hour working day. Yet other days, I could get ten times that amount put through and get £140 or so for an eight hour working day all told.
The one main thing that I am not really looking forwatd to as I have not actually had the privilege of being able to do it yet, is the once a year tax return - basically, I have to do it myself being self employed as if I was employed as a 'porper employee' then somebody else would do it for me. Therefore, I have to ensure that I keep a record of everything that I earn between now and the end of this current financial year so that I can fill out all of the paperwork in the correct manner.
One thing that a lot of self employed people are able to do is to actually pick and choose their own hours, however as I am working for an organisation as a self employed individual where people are a mixture of both employed by the actual company and people who are also self employed I have been told that although I can still pick and choose my own hours I still do have to be mindful of what else is also happening within the rest of the organisation - therefore, if there is a time of day that appears to be short on staff numbers then I would be expected to help to cover it (although I wouldn't have to start until the last member of staff was leaving that made the numbers short whereas if I was actually employed by them then chances are I would have to overlap with them for about an hour to ensure a much smoother delivery of service);
However one thing about actually working for this organisation is that although I do still have to make sure that all of my paperwork is up to date in terms of what I have done for leads, the company will help me out by actually in fact taking care of the payment side of things for me - ensuring that I don't do anything wrong, and they have also said that as they are having to pay some people who have already been e,mployed by them on a permanant basis then they may as well do it for everyone else too. But in most other cases, you would have to take care of this for yourself!
Therefore to conclude my review, I would say the following things:
1. Ensure that you know what you are letting yourself in for if you decide to go self employed.
2. Ensure that you have enough capital to cover you for when you first start out in the business in case things don't immediately take off for you.
3. Remember to register witht he tax office or otherwise you will be fined even more!
4. Don't let people take advantage of you, just because you are in effect working on your own steam.
5. If you want to succeed, then work as many hours as you are physically able to - but just don't burn yourself out though.
If I have forgotten anything then I apologise, but good luck to you all if you do decide to take the plunge and go self employed. After all, if you don't try it then you will never know.